Date Caramel Sauce Recipe
Creamy, dreamy caramel sauce made with dates. This wholesome vegan date caramel takes just a few minutes to make and is the perfect dip for apples or sauce to drizzle over ice cream. Did you know you could make a delicious caramel without using any refined sugars? Hooray!
Tomorrow I’m sharing a naturally sweetened dessert recipe that involves salted caramel and apples. And it’s totally gorgeous. Make sure you’ve subscribed to my email newsletter so you don’t miss it! The caramel involved in that recipe just so happens to be the only caramel I eat. Can you believe you can actually eat caramel sauce on a healthy, whole food, plant based diet? A caramel sauce that’s actually good for you? I’m in!
Since caramel is traditionally made with cooked white sugar, it’s something I normally avoid. This caramel sauce, however, is a completely wholesome and natural caramel sauce or dip made from dates. Keep a bag of dates on hand and you’ll be ready to make this vegan caramel sauce anytime the sweet tooth strikes.
Dates have been called the healthiest sweetener by many nutrition doctors including Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org and Dr. Axe. Not only are these sweet fruits loaded with vitamins and minerals, they are also a delicious replacement for sugar. Whereas refined sugar has almost no nutrition, dates actually provide health benefits. I didn’t grow up eating dates, but once I started using them in desserts a few years ago (like in these raw vegan peanut butter cup cheesecakes!) they became a staple in my kitchen.
For a quick and nutritious way to squash sweet tooth cravings, I like one date stuffed with almond butter or a slice of apple. Dates naturally have a rich caramel like flavor and color. When blitzed in a food processor with a dash of vanilla extract and water, they quickly turn into a creamy caramel sauce. Add more water to think into a caramel sauce, or less for a thick caramel dip. I don’t know what it is about salt and caramel, but it’s an irresistible combination. I love to add just a pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt here.
This date caramel sauce couldn’t be easier to make. Here I have the dates ready to go in the food processor. A good blender will work just as well if you don’t have a food processor, or don’t want to lug the heavy thing out of the cabinet. It’s amazing how few ingredients are needed to make this sweet treat. Just be sure your dates are pitted and keep blending until the sauce is very smooth. This method is so much easier than traditional caramel.
If you’d like to try a more traditional vegan caramel made with coconut milk, you need to see my vegan caramel apples here!
Vegan Date Caramel Sauce
- 8 oz. pitted Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- If the skin on the dates is very dry, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes and peel off as much of the skin as you can. This will make for a smoother sauce. If the dates are soft, you can skip this step.
- Place the pitted dates in the bowl of a food processor with the water and vanilla. Puree until completely smooth. This will take a few minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add salt to taste for a salted caramel flavor. Enjoy immediately with apple slices, pretzels, or other dippers, or store in the refrigerator.